“When Does My Body Belong to Me?”Amanda Marufu’s Quest to Find Her (And Every Woman’s) Freedom to BE.

One thing about us, we are proud of the achievements of Zimbabwean women and we are always there standing in their corner, clapping proudly. We have no shame in showing the world how women are transforming their worlds for better, one step at a time. In this light, we had a chance to chat with the multitalented (all self taught by the way) Amanda Marufu; a Digital Marketer, Writer and Producer working under NK Digital. Amanda is the co-founder of a production company known as Visual Sensation whose aim is to

spread awareness on critical issues through media, the first production under it being #NoFilter, a brand for African Women by African Women aimed at providing women across Africa with a voice. She is also the co-founder of the Zim Digital and Social Media Awards and a published author of the book ‘When does my body belong to me’. One salient point we got from Amanda? Resilience is important to achieving your goals. Ignore the negativity and keep your eyes on the prize!

Please introduce yourself to us?

I’m Amanda Marufu, also known as Amanda Tayte-Tait. I’m a feminist above all else. A tech-entrepreneur, producer, blogger and author.

 What inspired you to write your book? Please tell us in brief what to expect in it and where it’s available for purchase?

Woah this is a loaded one. I was reading the 7 necessary sins for women and girls by Mona Eltahawy, a book I highly recommend that every woman needs to read, and it hit. Eltahawy was retelling her own story and she, now in her 50s questioned, at what age her body would belong just to her because a man had felt the audacity to just tap her ass. She greeted this assault by beating him up and it spurred the question in me as well. At what age would my body belong to me?

As African women when do we finally get to be free? I knew I wanted that freedom more than anything else and the first step needed to be me telling my story. Letting it all out and not allowing it to be shrouded in shame or silence any longer.

The book is in 2 Parts; the first being a suicide letter and the second detailing life after suicide. It’s a story where I detail my experience with abuse, with mental health, suicide, sexuality, being put in a psych ward and ultimately fighting for my freedom.

It also features a free companion where I talk about healing my mind and body, sex after sexual trauma, forgiveness and learning to say no. The companion features stories and contributions from:

Takunda A Chimutashu (ZenTheMaster): who was also the editor

Carol Marufu

Munira Maria Makarow

Mpho Mashego aka Zawadi

Mary K

Lolo Cynthia

Nobuhle N Nyoni

Prince Rayanne Chidzvondo

Imungu Kalevera

Dr Nyarai Paweni; and it’s

aimed at healing, learning about forgiveness, mental health and self love.

Early readers of the book had this to say;

“In this haunting memoir “At What Age Does My Body Belong To Me”, endlessly talented filmmaker, producer, author, and blogger Amanda Tayte-Tait Marufu characterises the oppression (and triumphs) of women, the horrors of physical and sexual abuse, and the ongoing struggle to surmount the triple jeopardy of sexism, mental health stigmatisation and prejudication, as well as queerphobia, which is why it must become a quintessential novel for young people.” -Chris #enthuse

Where to find the book:

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/What-Age-Does-Body-Belong/dp/1779203160

E-Bookhttps://books2read.com/At-What-Age-Does-My-Body-Belong-To-Me

BONUS: Free Copy of Book 2: https://books2read.com/u/3GA60d

Download the PDF: https://payhip.com/AmandaTayteTait

For Zimbabwe Local Orders WhatsApp: +263775495676

 

What was the most difficult part about the creative process behind the book, the actual writing or the publishing?

All of it was difficult in very different ways. I mean writing it was difficult but editing it and having to re-read it was worse. By the time I was recording the audio book and having to say the words out loud and replay it, I would cry. It took me months to finally just publish and even after that it took me a while to even start sharing. It’s so deeply personal that no part of it was ever easy but I’m glad it’s out there and I truly hope it can spur conversations around these issues.

 What lessons has Covid 19 taught you in regards to keeping your hustle going?

You can’t give up! I did so much during lockdown that I had no idea I had in me. I took courses, wrote two books and contributed to a third; I ran two companies. Started a podcast. Started recording vlogs. Created plans and outlines for shows and more books (Laughs)…and all this isn’t to say it was all easy. When we launched our company there were three of us living and working in one room. There were days where the fridge was completely empty and we couldn’t get media jobs because the country was shut down and then the electricity issues and WiFi problems meant not being able to work online so money was just not coming in. It was hard but it taught me that;

  1. You are only as strong as your weakest link, the team you surround yourself with is everything.
  2. You have to keep going and trying and working no matter what life hits you with. In the end it will all be worth it.

What advice would you give to a woman out there who is thinking of venturing into the media sphere?

Just start. That’s my advice. That’s often the hardest part. I always laugh when people come to me with excuses because I’m like m, I’ve overcome most of them so I’m not the one to tell.

“I have no money.”

We did a talk show with $0 and no equipment. If you have a vision, build a network, care about that network and share your vision until you meet people with the same vision as you.

“But I don’t have money to go to school or I don’t have a degree.”

Girl, neither do I. I had to teach myself every single thing I know.

“I’m waiting for abc, or I’m waiting for the right time.”

The right time was yesterday, the next best time is today. Just do it! Just start!

You’re very vocal about your advocacy for women; what are the biggest hurdles that you’ve faced because of this, if any?

Threats. Which is… *sigh* a big sign of where the world rests. We have way too many people (the foot soldiers of misogyny) who are comfortable with telling a woman she should die or get raped or other variations of threats that they come up with. People are not only threatened by women speaking their truth but they are threatened by us women who refuse to be small and be fed the crumbs. Patriarchy cannot dim our light and worth because we are worth more than that. We are worth the whole fucking table!

What is your go to self care routine that amps you up?

 I am just now starting to learn to take my self care seriously but I do love meditating and praying and just playing music out loud and dancing. Spending time with my loved one.

If you could, what would you tell a younger you 5 years ago?

You can do this. You are worth more. Stop accepting less than you deserve and make your own rules. You can be whatever and whomever you want to be.

Music does a lot for healing and restoration, what genres/artists do you favour and why?

Right now I love Jessie Reyez and she’s on repeat a lot but that’s also because of the genre of books I’ve been writing (yes there’s many more to come) Kehlani is another fav because I not only love her music but relate to her on a personal level. It makes me proud to see more out and proud bisexual women.

What should we expect from you this year, what mountains are you scaling in 2021?

All of them (Laughs). Honestly; definitely expect more books. For now you can find another project ‘in her words’ which features 15 women from 7 countries here for free: Download link is – https://agbowo.org/in-her-words/

Secondly my YouTube Channel which will feature two shows. 1 being ‘let’s talk’ featuring the season of Let’s Talk Sex because I believe Sex is such an important topic that we need to talk about and secondly ‘Women Of The World’ which will feature me documenting different women and what they are up to. So far I’ve gotten a farmer, a project that’s helping take care of orphans through moringa and a few surprise influencers and I honestly can’t wait to share these with you. In the mean time you can hit that subscribe button.

What do you want to be remembered for?

My heart and love above all else and that I fought for black women and hopefully by the time I die like so many of my sheroes before me would’ve made the world a little better for the next generation of women and girls.

 

By: Nyaradzo Ngoma

 

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